Time I offered the country my estimable services

Percy Spencer had enjoyed a short leave in England and was now in France, and was now keen to get a commission. He wrote to his sister Florence:

Jan 16 1916
Dear W. F.

Anyway you know by the field postcards that “I’m ‘ere”.

Very busy too as usual.

Of course I’m glad I was “mentioned” (though there are thousands who ought to have been before me) as it’s a kind of certificate that I’m doing my share of the work; and at home they’ll place quite a false value upon it and rejoice, which will do them good and won’t harm anyone.

Yes, by a stroke of luck I got my mackintosh again. Mr Curtis retrieved it for me at the last moment.

It was a wretched journey back. They seem to make us as uncomfortable as possible these trips.

About my application for a commission. I’ve written to my CO asking him for a nomination in the 2nd or 3rd or the Queen’s, but have not yet heard from him.

Sydney, alas, hasn’t written to me yet, so I don’t suppose he has been able to do anything towards getting me a commission in his regiment.

So I’m sending an ordinary application form along which I hope you’ll kindly get signed for me by Lord Boston & JMI [John Maxwell Image]. (The original form is rather out of date, and I don’t think it advisable to send it in.)

Of course if I get a commission I may only to hack work in a Battalion, and have to take my chance in a scrimmage, but really, however the matter goes, I think it’s time I offered the country my estimable services in the commissioned ranks – if it’ll have them – judging by the quality of some of our latest “finds”….

The supplies were ample – amazingly ample at first sight, but nevertheless only sufficient for the journey, as it turned out, for they kept us a day at Boulogne in one of the Godforsaken “rest” camps.

Just before leaving old England I had the bloater paste sandwiches. They were excellent, and it was a great sorrow to me I had them such a little while. However “fish to fish” – ‘twas a fitting funeral.

Can you send me a diary tablet please? Also some more ink!

If Gil is not able to get things, let me know, and send him a parcel occasionally at my expense.

Yours ever
Percy

Letter from Percy Spencer (D/EZ177/7/5/1-3)

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